FAA Reportedly Investigating Allegations of Drunken Air Traffic Controller in Denver

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating allegations that a Colorado air traffic controller was drunk while controlling live air traffic.

According to KMGH-TV, officials conducted a random test on a veteran air traffic controller for alcohol while he was on duty July 5. The test was done when the controller was six and a half hours into his shift, sources told the station, and his blood alcohol content was found to be twice the legal limit.

The FAA says the controller, who has not been named publicly, has been removed from his position at the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center in Longmont.

The station reports that the controller under investigation is a former representative of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, a union that represents air traffic controllers.

Paul Rinaldi, president of the association, called the incident "deeply troubling" in a statement on Tuesday. 

"We take our responsibility of ensuring aviation safety very seriously. That includes acting professionally in all that we do," Rinaldi said. "We do not condone the alleged conduct at Denver Center currently under investigation. We are proud of our safety record both there and at every facility and will continue to work to keep our airspace system the world's safest."

The Associated Press contributed to this report